Adelinas Bistro and its executive chef might be a couple of the Central Coasts best-kept secrets.
Part of the Monarch Club at Trilogy Central Coast in Nipomo, the bistro is still an unfamiliar destination to a lot of people. Some think its a private restaurant exclusively for the residents of Trilogy, some think its just too far away, some just dont know about it.
Granted, this isnt a place you just happen to pass by, but its only three miles from Highway 101 as the crow flies, and only about a five-minute drive from the Los Berros Road exit.
If you do make the effort to find Adelinas Bistro, youll be rewarded with a casually elegant ambiance marked by soaring ceilings, expansive windows overlooking the Monarch Dunes golf course, and a dining area that manages to be both spacious and intimate thanks to the arrangements of high-backed seating.
Executive Chef Charles Weber joined Adelinas Bistro in July 2011, bringing with him some impressive credentials collected over his three-decade career.
Hes cooked at the James Beard House, competed in the Bocuse dOr (the culinary version of the Olympics), and prepared Robert Mondavis 90th birthday dinner. A notable chef in the Chicago restaurant scene, Weber has California experience that includes launching the successful Zuzu in Napa and working for Hyatt hotels in San Francisco and Monterey.
At Adelinas, Weber faces the challenge of melding fine dining with a casual bistro concept. Its an approach that welcomes everyone, whether youre wearing high heels or golf shoes, whether youve just stopped in for a quick bite or are celebrating a special occasion. To that end, Weber combines his classic French training with a knack for developing Mediterranean flavors and a commitment to farm-to-table ingredients.
The menu changes as availability changes, but sometimes just hopping onto the produce delivery truck will spark something for the daily special, such as king salmon with paper-thin Jerusalem artichoke slices, heirloom cherry tomatoes, sprinkles of micro arugula and drizzles of lemon oil.
Starters on the menu might include butternut squash risotto, Hawaiian-style Ahi poke (think marinated sushi), or a decadent lobster mac and cheese.
Lunch items run the gamut from a tuna Nicoise salad, to a vegetable panino with portabella and pesto, to a Kobe beef Monarch burger with bacon.
At dinner, choose from a Baja sea bass with chant-erelles and bacon lardoons, or roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, or a balsamic marinated sirloin with spinach and arugula.
Theres also a nightly prix fixe option, which recently offered soup or salad, a grilled pork chop with roasted pears, and yogurt panna cotta. Brick oven pizzas are always available as well go for a classic pepperoni or Margherita, or opt for a ratatouille with grilled veggies and peppers or a pizza with boar sausage and blue cheese.
The bistro is also open for breakfast, with items such as linguica sausage breakfast burritos or a wild mushroom omelet with spinach and avocado.
Special occasions like the upcoming Easter brunch will feature choices ranging from eggs Benedict, to grilled Arctic char, to pot roast hash and poached eggs.
This is the busiest small kitchen Ive ever worked in, said Weber, but I love to learn and try new things, and I push myself because I want the customer to see something fresh and new. I want to keep things both casual and exciting to be that place people come for a glass of wine as well as the place they think of for a romantic anniversary.